5 healthy habits to help your fertility

With a new year comes a renewed sense of diet and lifestyle goals, and these could just give you the push to get pregnant. What habits should you consider if you’re planning to fall pregnant?

1. Diet and lifestyle are key

When it comes to sperm and egg health, a healthy lifestyle plays a significant role. Habits such as eating foods high in saturated fats, smoking and not getting enough exercise can have a negative impact on both male and female fertility.

Previous studies have shown a strong link between smoking, obesity and longer time to pregnancy (TTP) or infertility. Researchers have investigated the role diet may play on fecundity or the amount of time taken to fall pregnant and has revealed a link between pre-pregnancy fast food and fruit intake and the amount of time to fall pregnant.

Smoking is also well known for having a detrimental effect on your general health and that also includes the health of your sperm and eggs. Studies released in the last few years have revealed that male smoking is a significant factor in poor embryo development, poor fertilisation and compromising the quality of an ongoing pregnancy.

2. Get enough sleep

A lack of sleep can have a detrimental impact on your mental health, your ability to lose weight and your fertility. Sleep plays an integral part in maintaining overall health including the ability to help regulate hormones and enable your organs to function.

Even minor fluctuations in hormones can lead to changes in bodily function, which is thought to also impact ovulation. Research has previously found that women who get less than 7 hours of sleep are in fact 15% less likely to fall pregnant than women who got more than eight hours.

3. Limit your alcohol

It is widely known that smoking and excessive alcohol consumption have detrimental effects on the health of both males and females.

It can also have a negative impact on fertility, and an adverse effect on the IVF outcome of patients, resulting in a reduced ongoing pregnancy and delivery rate. Sperm health is heavily influenced by your lifestyle, and there have been countless studies that have supported these links. When you’re thinking of starting a family, beginning with maternal and paternal health is important and one of the most overlooked components when it comes to fertility.

4. Take some time to chill

Easier said than done when you are undergoing fertility treatment, but it’s important to take time out for yourself and ensure you as “kind to yourself”. Whether this is going for a run, putting your feet up and watching a TV show, dissolving into your favourite book, or spending time with your loved ones.

Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health when it comes to fertility and is often neglected. When you are undergoing fertility treatment, life becomes a blur of appointments, injections, scans, blood tests and scientific terminology that sends your head into a spin.

It can be a stressful and daunting experience and at many times, overwhelming. It is therefore important to take time to look after your mental health, however you may choose to do this. Fertility First has counselling available to those who feel as though they may be struggling.

5. Are you getting enough nutrients?

Like with diet and lifestyle, it’s essential to get sufficient nutrients needed for healthy egg and sperm development. Poor egg and sperm health can often be linked to diet and lifestyle; therefore, it is of great importance to make the necessary healthy changes to your diet.

We post regularly about the importance of the role a healthy diet plays on your fertility treatment because we feel it can be the one piece of control you can take back in your life when everything else feels as though it has been taken away.

One great idea that the celebrities are currently obsessed with is the “knocked up smoothie”. Will this smoothie be guaranteed to get you pregnant? Probably not, however this smoothie is an example of how you can create a healthy snack/meal and pack it full of the essential ingredients needed to improve your egg or sperm health.

The “Knocked Up Smoothie”

Ingredients:

  • 240 ml almond milk
  • 60 ml coconut water
  • 1 date
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 Tbsp goji berries
  • 2 Tbsp of protein powder
  • 1 tsp of super greens
  • 1 tsp of chia powder
  • 1/2 tsp of E3live
  • 1/4 cup frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 Tbsp of hemp seeds

Directions:

Place all ingredients except for hemp seeds in blender. Blend on full speed until fully combined, pour in glass and top with hemp seeds. Enjoy!”

Author

Nic Stark

Nic Stark is Fertility First's Senior Research Embryologist. She holds a Masters of Reproductive Health Sciences and Human Genetics, a Bachelor in Medical Science, and is completing her PhD in Medicine (Reproductive Physiology). She has been an embryologist for over 15 years.

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